Michael Glover: A welcome addition to our modern cultural landscape

Share
Related Topics

Another eye-catching move from Brand Saatchi, you might say. To create, and then to move on. This time, by gifting many artworks from his private collection to the nation, and by throwing in the Saatchi Gallery on the Kings Road to boot, he is undeniably creating an enduring legacy for himself which will be called, when it opens in 2012, The London Museum of Contemporary Art.

He has done it time and time again – bought deftly, and made a name for himself by doing so. And when he hasn't bought well, he has sold again. In the Eighties he bought an old paint factory in north London and turned it into a white-walled exhibition space unlike any other then to be seen in the capital. In 1997 the aptly named "Sensation" show opened at the Royal Academy, showing mutilated mannequins, a shrunken dead dad and other stomach-churners. All the works in that show belonged to Saatchi, who had been buying the young British artists for years – the first serious collector to do so. Later he got rid of many of them. Then he shifted his gallery to County Hall beside the Thames – not an especially wise decision as many of the spaces were too awkwardly institutional for the display of contemporary art. Luckily, Saatchi left after arguments with the landlords.

Since 2008 he's been in the former headquarters of the Territorial Army, and the space has all the panache he requires. The exhibitions have been good and bad, but some of the most interesting of the works he has acquired over the past couple of decades and more will, if the nation accepts, soon belong to it. Best of these will be Richard Wilson's marvellous installation "20:20", which works reflective wonders with sump oil. There'll also be the significance of Tracey Emin's sad, crumpled "Bed" to contemplate. Of the more recent acquisitions, the best is Zhang Li's horrifying installation of suspended bodies, "Chinese Offspring", which was the most memorable piece in the recent show of contemporary Chinese art at the Saatchi Gallery.

Should we welcome this gift? Will it be an important addition to London's cultural landscape? Undoubtedly. Saatchi has bought much rubbish in his time, but he has also bought well, and many of his best buys will soon be the nation's – if negotiations go according to plan. What is more, the gallery will be free to visit. And if Saatchi seems even more pleased by his own image in the mirror the day after tomorrow, no one needs to look.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

After Savile, we must devote our energies to stopping child abuse taking place right now

Mary Dejevsky
A ‘hugely irritated’ Sir Malcolm Rifkind on his way home from Parliament on Monday  

Before rushing to criticise Malcolm Rifkind, do you know how much being an MP can cost?

Isabel Hardman
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower